How to Switch Laptop HDD to SSD without Reinstalling in Windows 7/10?

Worried about losing data in disk upgrading? This tutorial illustrates how to switch from hard disk drive (HDD) to solid-state drive (SSD) without reinstalling in Windows 7 or later.


by Delia Updated on October 18, 2022

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About SSD You Should Know

SSD is the abbreviation of Solid-state Drive which becomes very popular in recent years. To understand one object better, it is always a good idea to compare it with another object of the same category. SSD is famous for faster running speed comparing to traditional hard drive. No moving parts in SSD so no need to do defragment on this kind of disk. Along with new technology, SSD works with quieter environment and less power consumption. What’s more, it has better shock resisting ability which makes it better protecting data in disaster or the like.

Why Need to Switch HDD to SSD in Windows?

Although SSD has so many advantages, it does not replace HDD totally for reasons. Several main causes would be higher price, lower capacity and limited writing times. Fortunately, its prices have gone down and can be accepted by normal computer users. For more information about the differences between these two drives, please refer to SSD vs HDD.

As a result, more and more people want to switch hard drive to SSD. For example, if you want to build a PC mostly for playing games, it is suggested to install OS and games on SSD to experience better performance. Under such condition, just switch OS from HDD to SSD and install games later. If kept them in one drive (system drive) before, you can move OS drive only to SSD to realize the switching.

How to switch HDD to SSD in Windows 7/8/10?

Solution varies depending on you want to switch laptop hard drive to SSD or desktop. For example, replace HDD with SSD on ASUS laptop. Normally, desktop has external disk enclosure so that you can perform disk switching directly. However, laptop comes with only one internal disk bay so an USB-to-SATA cable is necessary. Nevertheless, to ensure the succeed boot after migration, it is suggested to use Backup & Restore method. See details in Sony laptop hard drive upgrade.

To upgrade HDD to SSD without reinstalling, a hard drive cloner helps a lot. AOMEI Backupper Professional is a reliable assistant that will help you solve hard drive switching problem. This software provides Disk Clone, System Clone and Partition/Volume Clone three features. You can choose different methods based on your needs. Cloning hard drive to SSD bit by bit or only used part is also available. Besides, to change HDD to SSD, partition’s alignment is also important. AOMEI Backupper will perform partition alignment with “Align partition to optimize for SSD” option, just enable it. Keep reading to learn details on HDD to SSD upgrading.

Upgrade HDD to SSD on Windows 10 Desktop

Step 1. Install SSD to your desktop and make sure it can be detected. Install and launch AOMEI Backupper Professional. Go Clone and then Disk Clone.

Step 2. Select HDD as the source disk.

Choose Source Disk 1

Step 3. Select SSD as the target disk.

Choose Destination Partitioned Hdd

Step 4. Check Align partition to optimize for SSD box and do some other changes if you want to. Then click Start Clone.

Disk Clone Preview Align Ssd Checked

Step 5. Shut down your machine after the cloning progress finishes. Open the computer case and swap old HDD with cloned SSD. Or, you can just change boot priority to SSD in BIOS. However, the first method is recommended.


  • Format old hard drive if everything on SSD works fine. You can use that HDD as secondary storage.

  • You may receive this message if you have more than 3 partitions on GPT disk and the SSD is formatted in MBR: “Note: The source disk contains over 3 partitions. Disk Clone only supports to copy 3 partitions at most from GPT disk to MBR disk. You could use Partition Clone to copy the remaining partitions to this destination disk.” Alternatively, you can merge partitions together to solve this issue.

Replace HDD with SSD on Laptop without Reinstalling

As covered, you can try Backup & Restore method to replace HDD with SSD when no bootable device around, because you can create a bootable device manually. That method also ensures successful boot on laptop. Here comes the detailed step. An USB flash drive or CD/DVD disc is necessary.

Step 1. Insert USB drive to your laptop. Open AOMEI Backupper. Go to Tools > Create Bootable Media. Then, follow the wizard to complete creating. After that, remove USB drive.

Create Bootable Meida

Step 2. At main console of AOMEI Backupper, click Backup and then Disk Backup.

Disk Backup

Step 3. Select current hard drive as the disk you will back up from. Then, choose the destination path to store backup image. You are allowed to store disk backup image to local disk, external hard drive, network share, or NAS. No matter where you store backup to, please make sure it can be accessed later. Finally, click Start Backup.

Add Disk

Step 4. Shut down your laptop after backup. Now, you need to do some practical operations to swap HDD with SSD on laptop. You may need screwdriver to uninstall old HDD.

Step 5. After swapping, boot the laptop from bootable USB stick you created before. You’ll see AOMEI Backupper after logon. Open this software and click Restore. Then click Select Image File to navigate to the disk backup. Follow-up steps are easy.

Select Image File Winpe

Tips: You may need to restart the laptop after restoring completes.

Important: Do not touch any other cables or circuit on the laptop. Take a picture of the caddy before lifting it out will help you place the new disk in right location later.

AOMEI Backupper is a good assistant no matter you want to switch HDD to SSD on laptop or desktop in Windows. The truth is it has more powerful features. For instance, you can transfer files from SSD to HDD with this software in the future.

Delia · Editor
Delia owns extensive experience in writing technology-related blog posts, and has been a part of AOMEI since 2020 to provide expertise in data security and disaster recovery. She works with Windows operating systems, SQL databases, and virtualization platforms such as VMware and Hyper-V, specializing in troubleshooting and advising on data protection and migration.